16 Feb 2021 20:42 IST

When helpful contemplation turns into overthinking

How to stop the cycle of thinking too much and drive towards making better, faster decisions

Deliberation is an essential leadership quality that undoubtedly produces better outcomes. But there comes a point where trying to weigh every possible outcome and consideration can lead to decision fatigue.

Here are five ways to stop overthinking:

Perfectionism myth

Perfectionism is based on the idea that you must know everything, anticipate every eventuality, and have a foolproof plan in place before making a move. Too much analysis leads to paralysis, preventing you from going forward. Instead of trying to do it perfectly, just try to do the next right thing.

Pick your battles

Right-size the problems, as not all decisions are worth mulling over. Write down goals, priorities, or people in your life will be impacted, can help you differentiate between what’s meaningful and what’s not worth obsessing over.

Power of intuition

The automatic process of intuition is sometimes more effective than rational thought. The brain considers a situation, quickly assesses all your experiences, and then makes the best decision given the context. Intuition is an useful decision-making tool when time is short and traditional data is unavailable.

Parkinson’s Law analogy

Much like the Parkinson’s Law, overthinking expands to the time we allow it. You will waste an inordinate amount of time and energy if you don’t limit your “worry time” consciously, earmarking a short period of the day to constructively problem solve.

Prune your routine

Eliminate minor decisions from your routine to allow more energy for the ones that really matter. Create routines and rituals to conserve your brainpower is an effective way to limit the drain.

Read the complete story here.

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